School’s out for summer! Kids are let loose from the school gates and parents finally have their little darlings home until the new school year starts… And then the chaos begins. Noise, tantrums, the constant need to entertain, and a newfound respect for teachers. Sound familiar? While it’s great to have the family together all day, there’s no denying the summer holidays can be a testing time for parents. Here are our 10 tips on surviving the school holidays as stress-free as possible.
Have an activity jar
Having activities pre-planned will help bust boredom. Ask your children to come up with 3 things they want to do to put in your ‘activity jar’. Set clear rules, such as ‘1 thing near home’, ‘1 thing with a friend’, and ‘1 thing outside’ (otherwise you might be trying to figure out how you can ride unicorns and visit space!).
Don’t go overboard
It can be tempting to fill every day to the brim but that will only lead to grouchy kids and exhausted parents. Make space for quiet time and self-play (their teachers will be grateful too).
Build a routine
Holidays are an exciting break from routine for children, but to avoid complete chaos it’s best to keep some sort of routine, especially in the morning and bedtime.
Arrange play dates
While we might think we’re the fun parent, children will always be the best entertainers for other children. Arrange play dates to make the hours pass faster and catch up with other parents too.
Make time for you
If you notice yourself getting snappy with your kids it might be an idea to put yourself on time-out. Take a moment to recentre and de-stress with your Total De-Stress Aroma Spa Diffuser – a couple of deep breathes of Geranium, Orange, and Nutmeg and you’ll be back in action.
At the start of the holidays set, or re-assess, some house rules. What behaviour gets rewarded, and how? What behaviour needs addressing, and how? This might seem a bit ‘super nanny’ but you won’t regret putting clear boundaries in place.
Kids aren’t built to be cooped up inside. Make time to get out in nature, whether that’s your local park or further afield, and give them space to pique their curiosity and explore. If you’re local and have the money – Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, is a must.
Create a menu
If mealtime meltdowns are a regular occurrence for you, discuss what meals you’ll be cooking at the start of each week so your kids know what’s coming. Invite them to help set the menu and assist with the cooking.
Set screen-time rules
When you’re busy, getting the iPad babysitter out can be tempting. While there’s no shame in buying a little extra time with a screen, this is another important one to have clear boundaries in place.
Go to holiday clubs
Don’t feel you have to do it all! There are many great holiday clubs that provide the perfect opportunity for your kids to meet other children, gain skills, and give you the space you need to stay sane.
Remember to keep the big picture in mind. School holidays are a short and sweet time, and when your babies are big enough to fly the nest, you’ll wish you had this much time with them again – take care of yourself and enjoy it!